New York designer week doingsNever mind the glamour...

Style File

November 16, 1997|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,Sun Fashion Editor

New York designer week doings

Never mind the glamour. There's the grind of business being done between the brief fashion presentations that more than 60 designers stage in New York each season. Store buyers watch and stake huge budgets on what they hope their customers will want to wear. Reporting on the emerging trends draws more than 1,700 international press and photographers to a jammed marathon of hourly shows. It makes for a lot of fashion watchers watching each other.

What they're wearing now

Only the uninitiated would expect fashion editors and stylists to turn out in full fashion drag for the New York collections. Year in and year out, the insiders who tout the color of the moment invariably dress in head-to-toe black. It's a statement of sorts and a no-brainer to coordinate. At the shows this month the dominant silhouette was the black trouser suit with narrow jacket and boot-cut pants. Second choice was black leather jacket and/or pants with cashmere turtleneck. Third pick was any combination with black velvet. The shoes they wore were clunky-heeled loafers or ankle boots.

Trust the few, true fashion victims to make their mark, however. They went for killer spikes in over-the-calf boots or sling-backs. The truly enlightened went bare-legged and showed their toesies even as they wrapped their necks in little fur mufflers.

Then there are the walking legends. Vogue's Anna Wintour can be counted on to stand out in color and her signature shades. Designer Betsey Johnson is easy to spot at field-goal distance in her own slapped-up ideas of trashy chic. We need her to keep the fun in the fashion beat.

Serving the cause

An event like the New York fashion collections that draws thousands of like-minded spectators is a natural draw for corporate bragging. Some unlikely candidates turned up as fashion-show sponsors. Warner Lambert pharmaceuticals manned a "Good Health Center" where fashion toilers were encouraged to try a mini-massage, a cup of herbal tea or sample throat lozenges with a zinc or echinacea base. Echinacea may be an ancient folk remedy, but it was "discovered" and made trendy to the fashion crowd.

Timex passed out tick-tock candies and kept track of late starts, a fashion week sin that keeps attendees jammed in a mob or squirming in tight, overheated showrooms. At the show registration center, eager hands dipped into the grab bins for Chupa Pops, the trendy lollipop preferred by supermodels -- preferred flavors being banana-choco and cappuccino.

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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